…according to Jamie Cummins, 27.
Casino people don’t do Christmas
‘I deal roulette, blackjack, poker and punto banco. I work over Christmas and New Year, and most weekends too. There are pluses, though: no early mornings, no traffic when I drive home, and it’s very sociable.’
It helps not to think of chips as real money
‘My first job in a casino was outside London, but now I work in Mayfair and the bets are a lot bigger. Sometimes when I pay out a lot of money I think: That’s my mortgage – and more! But mostly it’s just chips to me. It could be a pound or a billion pounds, and I’ll just see it as plastic. That takes the pressure off.’
Working casino hours turns your day upside down
‘When I start my night shift at 10pm, I finish at six o’clock the next morning, then go home and eat pasta or even a roast dinner. Sleeping in the day is tough; after ten years, I’m still not used to it. Sometimes I survive on two or three hours.’
Big winners tip thousands
‘Players can tip anything from 25p to a lot more. There’s one player who always wins a lot from me, and one day he went to Selfridges and bought me some aftershave. But I’ve heard of players tipping their favourite dealers thousands.’
There’s always someone watching
‘On every game there’s a croupier dealing and a supervisor watching, plus a pit boss watching both! But if you make a mistake, you don’t get into trouble, and there’s no pressure on the croupier to win for the house. Even if it involves huge sums, giving out money is just part of the business.’
Jamie will represent the UK in the European Dealer Championships at The Hippodrome Casino, May 8-10.
Interview by Samantha Rea.
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